8-Hour Emily Dickinson Marathon Reading

I’ve always had a thing for poetry and I’ve always loved Emily Dickinson from the moment I read her work in high school (or maybe junior high–I don’t remember). I would consider myself an amateur Dickinson scholar; amateur is the key word here. So, you can imagine my excitement when I saw that the Library of Congress’ Poetry and Literature Center, along with the Folger Library, recently did a free marathon reading of her work. The entire thing is around 8 hours long!  While I realize that is a long time to spend listening to Emily Dickinson poetry, it is in celebration of her 184th birthday. In fact, 8 hours was only enough time to get through about a third of her work.

Poet, Eleanor Heginbotham starts out the recording with Dickinson’s letter to her editor, abolitionist Thomas Wentworth Higginson. Emily says:  “Are you too deeply occupied to say if my verse is alive?”  Well, hats off to Emily!  Her verse is alive and well and I couldn’t be more thankful.

In case anyone actually ends up listening to this, here is a link to part 2.

And, of course, we have all of Dickinson’s work at your library if you want to brush up!


Hemingway’s Love Letters

high school hemingway

I often wonder how authors would feel if they knew that our modern world was consuming the work they had never anticipated publishing.  See:  Franz Kafka and Emily Dickinson.  What’s even more revealing is the correspondence some authors had with the ones who were closest to them in their lifetime.  One such example that sparked my interest today was that of Ernest Hemingway’s love letters.

A woman named Betsy Fermano went to a Hemingway exhibit at the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum and recognized a name from her family (Coates).  Frances Elizabeth Coates was someone that Hemingway felt quite deeply about after they dated for a short time.  Two letters that passed between the two have survived and are on display in the exhibit.  These letters are important because they show a different side of the famous author that not many readers have had the opportunity to see.

The Paris Review covers these fascinating letters and more in detail here.